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Thad McLaurin's blog

Eww Yuck! Blackened Toenails

Raise your hand if you've ever had a blackened toenail? Or better yet, had one completely fall off as a result of running? I'm guessing there are a lot of raised hands. Novice runners are usually shocked and surprised while experienced runners wear them with pride. So what causes this odd occurrence?


Don't Forget to Cross Train!


An important element of training that often gets neglected by runners is cross-training. A typical training plan will incorporate a couple of rest and/or cross-training days. Remember what I said in the previous posting; be sure to use your rest days for rest. But, what should you be doing on your cross-training days? You know when you go to the all-you-can-eat buffet and there stretched before you is an entire bounty of goodies? You also know how that bounty includes some healthy choices and a whole lot of not-so-healthy-choices? Well, cross-training is just like that.


Speed Workout 101

Speed work is exactly that, adding speed to your weekly routine. This can be done as fartleks—mixing slow and fast running in a workout—or it can be more formal as in running intervals at the track. Whether fartleks or intervals the total distance usually isn't more than 3 or 4 miles. The purpose of these runs is adding the increased speed, not distance.


Stretch It!

A very important but often ignored part of running is stretching. Sure it's dull and no fun and we'd all rather be hitting the road than standing still trying to touch our toes. Nevertheless, if you stretch, you actually can become a more efficient runner, experience less soreness after a run, and help keep numerous running-related injuries at bay.

The Ultimate Post-Run Meal—The Breakfast Burrito

One of the great things about blogging is meeting people from all over the coutry, even the world. One such person I've befriended is a fellow runner and blogger from Sioux Falls, SD—Jeff Pickett. Jeff's the host of Life Isn't Over (At 40 or Any Age) where he posts video clips of his running and fitness journey. Another cool thing about Jeff is that he's lost over 60 lbs. on his journey. Go Jeff!

If Jeff ever decides to change careers, I think he could go into producing a "how-to" television show. He has a great knack for conveying good information with just the right amount of comic relief sprinked in. I think it's his honesty and openess about his triumphs and failures on his marathon journey (as well as his humor) that make the clips so compelling.

Healthy Muffins: The Perfect Pre-Run Meal or Snack

My fellow blogger friend, Jeff Picket, the host of Life Isn't Over at 40 or Any Age has a great easy-to-make recipe perfect for runners or anyone trying to stay fit. In the video clip below, Jeff shows us how to make a healthy version of blueberry muffins that provide the complex carbs perfect for fueling your run. These muffins are great to eat for breakfast, a pre- or post-run snack, or just as a healthy snack during the day. Make up a bunch and freeze the extra so you'll have a ready supply of healthy fuel. Thanks Jeff!

Ice, Ice, Baby!

It's amazing how something so basic can be such an amazing cure-all. I'm talking about ice. Even with all the anti-inflammatory creams and oral medications on the market, ice remains one of, if not the most, effective anti-inflammatory treatments for sports related injuries as well as to impede recovery from intense workouts.

The first thing many runners want to do after a long intense run is to hop in a hot shower or a warm tub, especially in the winter. But, that's actually the worst thing a runner can do. Although it may feel really good to slip those worn out legs and tired little toes into a warm bath, what actually happens may make things worse and slow down your recovery. The hot water actually increases the blood flow increasing swelling worsening the inflammation. Ice does the exact opposite. The coldness helps to decrease the blood flow, decreasing the chances of swelling. That's why when you sprain your ankle you put an ice pack on it—to keep the swelling down.

Run Till You're 100!


I've read a lot of running and fitness books. Frequently I'll buy a book for a particular section that may be of interest. Often I end up using the books more as references at-the-ready for when I need to find the answer to a particular question. One book that I actually read in one sitting is Run for Life: The Anti-Aging, Anti-Injury, Super-Fitness Plan to Keep You Running to 100. Roy Wallack (in a conversational and often witty voice) details a life plan for running.
His goal is not to just live to 100 and shuffle along, but to actually run on his 100th birthday. Sound outrageous? Well, when you consider that today one out of every 10, 000 Americans live to 100—and those numbers will only increase in the coming years with more and more medical advances—it may not be that outrageous. Wallack has collected information from some of the most innovative coaches and trainers, the latest scientific research, as well as interviews from some of the pioneers of running, including Frank Shorter, Bill Rogers, and Bobbi Gibb.

Say Whatica?


Two of the most common and most painful running injuries are sciatica and piriformis syndrome. Some consider these conditions one in the same. The symptoms can be very similar but the underlying causes of the conditions are very different.
Sciatica is the irritation of the sciatic nerve usually resulting from a herniated disk or spine degeneration. A frustrating problem with sciatica is that you can't clearly see the nerve or the causes of the injury. But one thing that is clear is the pain which usually radiates down the back, to the buttocks, to the back of the thigh, and down to the outside of the knee. Sometimes it even extends all the way down to the foot.

Safety on the Run


No matter what your experience level, all runners should take some time to think about their safety while running. In general, running is pretty safe, but depending on the time of day you're running, the time of year, and your location a variety of safety concerns may need to be addressed. It's the runner's responsibility to make himself/herself visible especially when it's dark. 

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